Baby Clothes Sizing: A Complete Guide

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Buying clothes for babies can be incredibly difficult. Baby sizes aren’t as simple as they should be, so it’s easy to buy the wrong size.

And since baby clothes usually come in multi-packs, you can’t even have your child try them on before purchasing them. If the clothes just barely fit, you might be tempted to keep them.

But you’re child will outgrow them in a matter of weeks. If the clothes are too large, you won’t get to use them for months.

That’s why it pays to really understand baby clothes sizing before you start stocking up on all those onesies. You don’t want to end up with a big pile of clothes your child can’t even wear.

If you’re a new parent, learning about baby clothes sizes for the first time, fret not. There is hope. Just keep reading our baby clothes sizing guide below to be fully prepared to outfit your child with ease.

Baby Clothes Sizing Standards

In the US, most baby clothes are sized in months. That is, you’ll see sizes like 3-6 months or 9-12 months.

In general, this convention works. Most babies follow average growth patterns and are roughly the same size at various ages. However, babies are humans. And that means there is always room for variation.

My three-month-old baby might be 12 pounds while your three-month-old baby might be 22 pounds. In this case, it’s likely that both are going to need a different shirt size. After all, your baby is near twice the size of mine, even though they are the same age.

So even though the sizing convention seems simple, it rarely is that simple. You need to be aware of the size of your baby.

Pay attention when you bring your baby in for checkups during their first year. The doctor should tell what percentile they are in for weight and length. This can give you a good indication of your child’s needs when it comes to clothes.

If your child is in the upper percentiles, such as 80 or 90%, they are likely going to need larger clothing sizes sooner than standard babies in the 50th percentile.

What Size Should You Buy?

Need some baby clothes sizing advice? It helps to know when a child is right for a certain size.

The age range provided on each piece of clothing shows the maximum age that the garment is likely to fit. So if you see a shirt that says three months, then three months is the maximum age a child should be when wearing that shirt.

So a three-month shirt is probably best suited for a one or two-month-old child.

Likewise, if a shirt says six months, don’t buy that for a six-month-old baby. Buy a six-month shirt for a three-month-old baby.

Once your child is six months, you’ll probably need to purchase nine-month clothing.

Baby Clothes Size Chart

While baby clothes sizes are typically listed by age, they also correspond to different weights. For example, premie sizes are intended for babies up to five pounds, while newborn (NB) clothes are for babies between five and eight pounds.

The size also corresponds to height. Premie clothes should be bought for children up to 17 inches while newborn clothing would fit children between 17 and 21 inches.

You shouldn’t need to actually weigh or measure your child on your own. Babies are supposed to have checkups eight or nine times during their first two years. This is frequent enough to know how heavy and tall your baby is every couple of months.

That was, you always know what size they need to be wearing.

Popular Baby Clothes Brands 

So how do some of the popular children’s clothing brands match up to each other? Well, they also use the same sizing conventions.

However, that doesn’t mean that all of their clothing follows the same dimensions. For an average-sized baby, a brand like Burt’s Bees tends to run a little bit small.

That means that if you want your child to fit into these clothes for a long time, you should size up.

Gerber, on the other hand, is known to run a bit large and wide. So if you buy the correct size, they might be a little too big for a few weeks.

Cat and Jack clothes are known to run a bit small, while Old Navy runs a tad big. For the most accurate baby sizes, Carter’s might just take the cake.

Of course, there are many other children’s clothing brands to consider as well. Hanna Andersson baby clothes are said to fit very well and have some of the most adorable designs to rival the more well-known brands.

Plan the Seasons

Babies grow fast. Usually, they move from one baby size to the next in a matter of a few months.

This happens to correlate with the seasons of the year. If you’re looking for some baby clothes sizing tips, consider how old and large your child will be during each season, particularly during their first year of life.

For example, if your  child was born in January, they’ll be six months old by the time summer starts. So a smart parent would purchase warm, cozy clothes in the 0-3 month sizes, standard clothing in the 3-6 month sizes, and summer clothes in the 6 month sizes.

You wouldn’t want to buy any sweaters, jackets, or long pants that are sized for 6 month-year-olds, since they won’t fit in those any longer by the time the temperatures drop in the fall.

This is something many new parents fail to account for. Instead, they buy all the clothes for every age range. Then, most of the clothes never get worn, and money has been wasted.

Don’t be that parent. Take five minutes to think ahead and buy the right clothes for the right age and size.

When in Doubt

Still a little bit confused about baby clothes sizing? Welcome to parenthood, where everything is a mystery and you simply have to deal with it.

But once you understand how your child grows and ages, you’ll get a better feel for purchasing the right size. When in doubt, however, buy a little larger. They’ll grow into it eventually.

Looking for more tips like this? Head over to our blog to keep reading today.

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